Pope, at Holy Thursday Mass, gives thanks for the ministry of priests (CBCP News) Pope Francis celebrated the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper in St. Peter’s Basilica (video, booklet). He preached an extemporaneous homily on the Eucharist, service, and anointing, and concluded, “I thank God for the grace of the priesthood. We all [thank you]. I thank God for you, priests. Jesus loves you! He only asks that you allow him to wash your feet.”
CO19 victims have 'inalienable right' to priests' help, Cardinal Sarah says (CNA) “No one as the right to deprive a sick or dying person of the spiritual assistance of a priest,” the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. “It is an absolute and inalienable right.” Cardinal Sarah also invited the Church in Germany to “renounce state subsidies,” and said that wealth has tempted the Church there to “change Revelation, to create another magisterium.”
Crown of Thorns venerated in Notre-Dame Cathedral (Archdiocese of Paris (French text, video)) On Good Friday, Archbishop Michel Aupetit led the veneration of the Crown of Thorns in Notre-Dame de Paris, nearly one year after the devastating fire there. The veneration included music by Bach, Gluck, Telemann, and Schubert, and words by St. Teresa of Calcutta and the French Catholic authors Marie Noël (1883-1967), Paul Claudel (1868-1955), Charles Péguy (1883-1914), and Francis Jammes (1868-1938).
Churches, other religious organizations are now eligible for SBA loans (Religion Clause) The Small Business Administration announced that “faith-based organizations, including houses of worship, are eligible to receive SBA loans, regardless of whether they provide secular social services,” according to the report. This applies both to the Paycheck Protection Program designed to keep small business workers employed, and to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program which provides small businesses and non-profits working capital.”
Leading African prelate writes 'Message from a cardinal sick from coronavirus' (Vatican News) Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo of Burkina Faso (map), president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, has been diagnosed with CO19. He said he is offering his sufferings for “anyone who is ill with Covid-19 or affected by other illnesses, for an end to all killings of innocent people by forces of evil, and for reconciliation, justice and peace in Burkina Faso.”
English bishops: priests must obey restrictions on visiting hospital patients (LifeSite News) The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have advised priests not to challenge hospital officials who deny them access to patients. “Priests and chaplains must follow the visiting instructions from Hospital and Trust authorities,” read the statement from the episcopal conference, signed by Bishop Paul Mason. “Whilst this runs counter to our instinct to provide end-of-life sacramental and pastoral care...minimising the spread of the virus must be the priority of all.”
USCCB joins papal call for global ceasefire (USCCB) Echoing Pope Francis’s recent appeal for a global ceasefire, Bishop David Malloy (Rockford, Ill.), chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, said that “with such cessation, corridors of humanitarian assistance can be established and strengthened to allow relief to reach those in greatest need.”
At weekday Mass, Pope prays for conversion of those who exploit the needy during pandemic (AsiaNews) At a Mass celebrated in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae on April 8 (video), Pope Francis preached on Matthew 26:14-25, the Gospel reading of the day. As he did in 2016, the Pope referred to Don Primo Mazzolari’s 1958 homily on Judas and to the depiction of Judas at the basilica in Vèzelay, France. The Pope invited those watching the Mass to pray the act of spiritual communion by Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val (1865-1930). The Mass concluded with adoration and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the chanting of the Ave Regina Caelorum.
Chicago archdiocese recruits young priests to anoint CO19 victims (CNA) The Archdiocese of Chicago has enlisted 24 priests—all volunteers who are under 60 and in good health—to anoint victims of the CO19 epidemic. Other priests have been instructed to call in one of these volunteers when asked to the bedside of a CO19 patient. The volunteer priests will observe a series of safeguards to avoid contracting the virus.
Church shutdowns no threat to religious liberty, says Archbishop Lori (Crux) Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore has rejected complaints that restrictions on church services are an offense against religious liberty. “We do not feel as though we have been forced into doing this by the government,” he told Crux. “We feel like we’re doing the right thing.” The archbishop strongly criticized Catholics who have attended Mass in defiance of diocesan bans. “It puts people’s lives at risk, and I believe it also defies reason,” he said.
Priests kidnapped, tortured in Cameroon (L'Osservatore Romano (Italian)) The Anglophone crisis in Cameroon (map) has displaced over 500,000 people. “Life has not been easy for bishops, priests, religious, Christians,” according to the report. “Some priests have been kidnapped, several priests have even been tortured … Constant threats [come] especially from the separatists.”
US bishops cancel June meeting in Detroit (USCCB) “Even if the numerous temporary restrictions on public gatherings resulting from conditions associated with COVID-19 are lessened by June, the priority for the physical and pastoral presence of the bishop in his See will be acute to tend to the faithful,” said Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Kansas legislators overrule governor on order limiting Easter services (Kansas.com) Legislators in Kansas, voting along party lines, have revoked an order by Governor Laura Kelly that would have limited all Easter church services to a maximum of 10 people. Governor Kelly denounced the initiative as “irresponsible,” saying that the Republicans who advanced the measure would be responsible for deaths. About 0.03% of the Kansas population has been infected with CO19, but that number is growing.
Vatican thanks China for donation of health supplies (Vatican Press Office) The Vatican press office has released a statement of gratitude to China for the donation of supplies needed to fight the CO19 epidemic. “The Holy See appreciates the generous gesture and expresses gratitude to the bishops, the Catholic faithful, the institutions and all the other Chinese citizens for this humanitarian initiative,” said Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni.